Still: Patience was the key for Hatters

Alex Lawless came off the bench to help Hatters beat AFC Wimbledon
Alex Lawless came off the bench to help Hatters beat AFC Wimbledon

Hatters boss John Still hailed his side’s patience as they eventually saw off 10-man AFC Wimbledon at Kenilworth Road yesterday afternoon.

The visitors were reduced to 10 men after 35 minutes when Karleigh Osborne saw red for two quickfire bookings.

“For me, that was one of our best performances because we came up against team who came here not to get beat.”

John Still

However, Luton struggled to make the breakthrough and it wasn’t until the introduction of Jack Marriott and Alex Lawless on the hour mark that they looked like turning the screw, Marriott netting twice late on.

Still said: “I was absolutely delighted with the patience that we showed, to play 90 minutes and do the job right.

“We started slow, but we said before the game, we’d had a good look at them and felt that they would defend very deep so Craig (Mackail-Smith) couldn’t get in behind them.

“For me, that was one of our best performances because we came up against team who came here not to get beat and I’m not knocking that, we had to be patient to win.

“The crowd can get a bit restless, all crowds can as they want you to get the ball up there and when you do get the ball up there they say you’re playing too long.

“So I said, no, let’s try and be patient, keep the ball and try and find the pass and we scored from a restart which was pleasing as well.”

Once the sending off had taken place, Still knew the challenge to break down the visitors was going to become even tougher, but felt his subs bench could be key in unlocking the door.

He continued: “We came in at half time and I said they’re going to defend even deeper, and narrow, so we’ve got to try and use our width.

“Don’t kick it down the middle, try and pass, the crowd might get impatient, but try and pass and we did.

“We said that we’ve got a change in us, to go to a diamond, try and push our full backs right up, which we did, so we were pleased when we did that, and I thought we played well.

“Steve (O’Donnell) got into some great areas, put in two fantastic balls in the first half, but I thought he was a bit apprehensive. We just wanted him to be bold and get up there, especially when we went to a diamond as your full backs are important when you do that.

“It’s pleasing when your changes come off, and we said before the game we were definitely going to get Jack on. I think we were bold as we put two attacking players on at full back to get up there and try to provide that.

“They defended very, very narrow and very, very well. They let us have the ball in areas and they did it very well.

“But we felt Paddy’s got a pass to find a goal, Ryan Hall’s got a cross to find a goal, we think Craig has got a goal in him and we think Jack’s got a goal in him.

“He’s got one really good goalscorer’s goal and also one that was a very, very composed finish, a better goal than some people might think it was.”